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End-of-life Options And Life Insurance In Canada

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By Author: Eugenia
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Many people seek out life insurance protection in order to provide for their families in the event of their death. You never know when it might happen, so having life insurance even at a young age is important. People typically consider the possibility that they may pass on suddenly in situations like a vehicular accident, or a random unforeseen health event like heart attack. But often we don’t consider terminal illnesses, or what the end of one can be like, though this is the main reason why end of life insurance is an important issue to think about.

Death with Dignity Life Insurance
Terminal illnesses can drag on for years and it is often a painful fight to go through. Many, many people survive their battle with various cancers, but many more find themselves diagnosed with a terminal disease or condition that simply can’t be fought. In these situations, in Canada, Canadians are permitted to apply for death with dignity, also referred to as a physician assisted suicide. If you are wondering whether a death with dignity will void your life insurance, rest assured, it will not.

Ask Lots of Questions
When you are shopping for insurance it is important that you discuss all possibilities and inclusions for your end of life insurance. What conditions are covered? What death-circumstances are considered valid? Will the method of death impact the death benefit in anyway? How many years must you retain your policy, circumstantially, in order for your death benefit to be paid in full? Some insurers place limits, others don’t.

End of Life Options
In Canada it is not referred to as assisted suicide life insurance, it is simply life insurance. You are permitted many freedoms here, especially when it comes to dying. The Canadian Government has made it abundantly clear that they respect the human right to choose how and when they die. In keeping with this sentiment, insurers have stepped up to reflect this attitude.
Physician assisted death will not void your life insurance policy in Canada, and interestingly enough, if your policy is more than two years old, suicide will not void it either.

The Criteria
Qualifying for a physician assisted suicide is not easy. The law (Bill C-14) is very strict, with the intent of making every provision for a person to change their mind, and to ensure that someone cannot be coerced into it. The criteria for eligibility are as follows:
Be eligible for government-funded health insurance in Canada;
Be 18 years of age or older;
Have a grievous and irremediable condition, as defined by Section 241.2, para. 2 of the Criminal Code;
Have made a voluntary request for medical assistance in dying (MAID) that was not made as a result of external pressure;
Give informed consent to receive MAID after having been informed of the means that are available to relieve their suffering, including palliative care.
In order to have a “grievous and irremediable medical condition,” as defined by Bill C-14, a person must satisfy all the following requirements:
Have a serious and incurable illness, disease, or disability;
Be in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability;
Endure physical and psychological suffering that is intolerable to them; and
Their natural death has become reasonably foreseeable.
Patients must also be capable of providing informed consent at the time that MAID is provided. Two independent witnesses must also sign the individual’s request for a medically assisted death, and there must be at least 10 days between a request being maid and the provision of death assistance. This is known as the reflection period.

Physician assisted suicide is relatively new to the Canadian Legal landscape, and a lot of people are not familiar with it. LSM Insurance is well versed on the subject and able to discuss how these types of scenarios are considered by insurance providers.

More About the Author

Hi, I'm Stevie! The management of personal finances is something I've been very interested in since my high school years. I'd like to share some knowledge on the subject and I really hope it'll help someone.

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